New Kid on the Block: Frenchette Bakery

Happy Friday! This is the official NKOTB post for Frenchette Bakery, which has already accumulated several news items, starting when I happened to follow my nose and find one of the first Frenchette croissants coming out of the quieted Arcade Bakery ovens in late September.

Since then, they have clearly made themselves at home in Roger Gural’s charming arcade and bakery (I never get tired of that beautiful jewel box of a space, and look forward to when the tables can once again be lowered for midday snacks). In recent weeks the hours have expanded to Saturdays, and every time I go in there’s something new on the menu. As of this week: lunchtime mini pizzas (pizz’ettes, get it?).

For a tiny bakery, the menu is actually quite expansive with options across the palate. (All, of course, include bread so don’t go while on your New Year’s paleo routine.) The city loaf — tangy and spongy with a crust that requires some real elbow grease — is my go-to, but I now have a dessert option I am adding to the regular order: the canelé. The bitty little caramelized custard cakes — a crisp caramelized crust, with a vanilla bean and rum-scented moist center — are that rare sweet indulgence that makes you feel like you *should* eat dessert. (They are made using traditional copper molds, which is how you get that chewy crust.)

The brains behind the operation are Peter Edris, who was most recently the head baker at Bourke Street Bakery, the (yet another) Australian outpost on 28th and Madison, and Frenchette’s pastry chef Michelle Palazzo, who came to the restaurant by way of Reynard (now closed) at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. (Photo obv pre-pandemic.) I would like to add that the front of house staff — knowing full well this is just a counter operation — is super friendly, patient and great at what they do, even when people (like me) take forever to decide.

There are at least six different loaves, all made with local grains sourced from River Valley Community Grains, a collective born from the effort to restore the Musconetcong River in New Jersey. There are baguettes, of course, but also more textured options such as the pain aux fruits et grains and sesame rustique.

I loved the egg savory — or durum savory croissant — it has a little kick with the addition of kimchi and was just as good the next day heated in the toaster oven. There’s also a Sicilian pistachio twice-baked croissant and the adorable comté gougères — two-bite perfectly salty cheese puffs sold in a trio for $5.

So to the pizzas: At $14, which would easily serve two, they are competition for Grandaisy’s Roman flatbreads, among the tastiest and best lunch deals in the neighborhood (I can’t get enough of the butternut squash and caramelized onion one). The margherite pizza is great — tomato and mozzarella on the durum dough — but I would go back right now for the tarte flambee: crème fraîche, bacon lardons and onion on the baguette dough, chewy and flavorful. NB: the pizzas are made to order and take 8 minutes, so plan to sit with a coffee while you wait.

Oh, and they now sell their own cultured butter, made for Frenchette at a creamery in Vermont. What else do we need?

Frenchette Bakery
220 Church St. arcade, Thomas and Worth
Monday through Friday 8a to 4p
Saturday 9a to 3p
Closed Sundays



  1. I am there every chance I get. Just walking into the place is an experience. The smell of the baking bread is amazing. Cannot wait to go back next week for the pizza.

  2. That pizza looks fantastic!

  3. Super dumb question… :)

    From what side do you enter the building?